President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his determination to give Nigeria an electoral system that meets with best practices anywhere in the world. President Buhari spoke yesterday at State House, Abuja, while meeting with Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, other top officials of the electoral body, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The president said with a minimum of 28 rerun and by-elections this January alone, the commission should ensure that the game was played by the rules, without fear or favour.
He charged the electoral umpire to stick to the rules of fair play and adherence to justice in line with resolve to engender a free, fair and credible electoral process. “Those that you declare as winners must be the candidates that the people have chosen. Democracy is about free will, and the will of the people must be allowed to prevail.
Get your acts right, and leave no room for underhand tricks or manipulation,” he said in a statement issued by his media aide, Femi Adesina.
President Buhari said he expected nothing than a scrupulous securing of the electoral process, without bias or favouritism from the Nigerian Police Force.
“Our elections must be done in violence-free atmosphere. The process must be free, fair, decent, devoid of intimidation or malpractices.
It is the duty of the police to accomplish that, and it is what I expect in the elections immediately ahead, and going forward,” he said.
Both INEC and the police promised a fidelity to the rules and regulations, stating that they know President Buhari as someone passionately committed to fair play.
The INEC Chairman, who said they met President Buhari because of the coming re-run elections, expressed the commission’s readiness.
Prof. Yakubu said the president reiterated his commitment to not only ensuring that the processes were free and fair but also providing a secured environment. While speaking, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, who also attended the meeting, promised that the force would provide the needed security during the coming re-run polls and the subsequent governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
Adamu said the security strategy put in place in the previous elections would be reviewed so as to have an election that would be devoid of violence and ballot snatching.
He said those planning to perpetrate violence would be used as scapegoats. “This is the message that we are sending to Nigerians and this is the beginning of the process to make sure that this country from now onwards gets elections that is exemplary to the rest of the world.
“The security agencies have also assured that they will continue to secure the environment to ensure that we conduct a free and credible election,” he said.